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Concrete, Brick, & Masonry, Home Maintenance

Foundation Repair Costs & Causes

By on Jun 28, 2015
Foundation Repair Costs & Causes

It should come as no surprise that your foundation is one of the most important elements of your home. Without a strong, properly planned and reliable foundation, one’s home can become inefficient to say the least. Over time, your foundation may experience certain issues no matter how well it was placed years ago. As such, foundation repairs are occasionally necessary to ensure a safe and efficient home for years to come.

Given its significance, your foundation repair cost will not be cheap. Below, I will digest all expenses that come with foundation repairs as well as some of the most common problems and solutions for a hindered foundation.

Foundation Repairs

Foundation Repair Cost

According to our foundation repair cost estimator, the average price to repair a foundation is $3,457. However, we have seen certain foundation repairs run as low as $890 and as high as $5,100.

As is the case with many other repairs around the home, the overall cost will largely depend on your specific project. As you might expect, it’s cheaper to repair a small patch of soil than it is to raise the home and add more concrete.

For a more detailed cost analysis, please see all four of our foundation cost estimators.

Identify Foundation Problems

There are a wide array of issues that can arise from a shaky foundation. Unfortunately, many of them can lead to major structural damages throughout the home ranging from doors and windows that won't open to cracks in walls and gaps between the walls and ceiling. Likewise, if you feel like your home suddenly feels like it is on a slant, a foundation issue may be at play.

If you ever suspect foundation issues, it’s imperative that you call a pro or structural engineer right away. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. Even if you get the foundation itself repaired, there may be damage to the inside of your home due to waiting too long. Unlike some other repairs around the home, this is one you simply can not put off.

To locate other foundation issues, please see House Foundation & Structural Issues.

Why Foundation Repairs Are So Expensive

Ensure Foundation Issues

Before you spend roughly $3,500 to repair your foundation, you need to ensure that a problem exists. Therefore, many homeowners call a structural engineer for an unbiased opinion on their home. Structural engineers have no interest in selling you a product and as such, will provide an objective analysis of your property. This won’t be the case if you go straight to a repair pro.

Beware that some engineers cost upwards of $300-$500. If you need a complicated fix, you might want to hire the engineer by the hour ($100-$200) to inspect while work is underway.

What Causes Foundation Issues?

Uneven settling causes most foundation problems. Other possible causes include improper grading of the soil around the foundation, a water main break or floods. Additionally, foundations that have been built on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils or have been poorly maintained can have serious damage as the foundation settles and moves. No matter what you do, your foundation will not stay pat forever and that is why even the most experienced and professional building expert can not build a perfect foundation.

Foundation Crack Repair

Foundation Repair Solutions

With so many causes of foundation problems, one solution does not cure all. Nevertheless, there are two techniques that have proven to beat the rest: slabjacking and piering.

Slabjacking

Slabjacking involves back filling underneath a home's concrete slab with a fill material made from a mix of soil, clay, concrete, sand and other materials. In other words, a grout mixture is pumped into the space under the concrete foundation and floats the foundation back to its original position. This is done to correct soil subsidence but will not prevent future settlement of the soil.

Slabjacking is the less expensive of the two main options. Nevertheless, slabjacking, although effective, can be ineffective if there were any structural shifts to your home or the soil surrounding.

Piering

Piering is the more stable option and as a result, costs more. Piering is the process of placing supports, or metal piers, underground to lift and support the existing concrete. They are anchored into the soil with concrete to help hold them into place.

Your pro will dig deep into the ground to place the pier. Then, the foundation is raised with hydraulics to lift the foundation back into place and stabilize it for the future.

Piering is almost always considered to be a permanent solution that will not be compromised by further settling of the house.

Foundation Issues

Raising A Home

As you just heard, oftentimes, to really fix a foundation, you have to raise your home. As we noted in How Much It Will Cost To Raise A House Foundation, there are other hidden costs that come with raising a home.

Permits alone cost between $2,500 and $5,000. They are not always necessary, but you should check nonetheless. Your pro should walk you through all the procedures and paperwork involved in obtaining permits in your local area.

In addition to certain landscaping costs, you will also need to disconnect and turn off all power, plumbing and phone service to your home during the construction process, and then turn all back on after it’s completed. Additionally, there will likely be cracks in the plaster that need to be fixed.

Conclusion

Unlike small floor, wall or landscaping projects, foundation repairs should never be put off. The longer you wait, the worse your foundation gets and more expensive the repair cost will be.

To ensure your foundation is sound and safe, click here and get connected with up to four foundation pros near you.


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